Toys can take forever to assemble | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Toys can take forever to assemble

Uploaded: Oct 28, 2015
Last night my husband and son spent about two hours assembling a new toy. If either my husband or I had put it together without our son, I'm sure it would have taken a lot less time. But where's the fun in that.

I don't enjoy putting together cribs or other furniture (and neither does my husband) but I did very much enjoy watching our son help build his new toy. Watching my husband and son check the directions, dig through piles for the right pieces and chat about different features was heartwarming...what a team!

Our son's excitement was clearly growing as the toy started resembling the photos he has seen on TV, in catalogs and on the box.

And, while it shouldn't have been a surprise, I loved witnessing the almost a seamless transition from building the toy together to playing with it together.

Some toys are too complicated for a child to help assemble, but when possible, I hope we can repeat this experience with the next sets of toys our son receives.

Do your kids help assemble their toys? Is it an enjoyable or a frustrating experience?
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Ex Child, a resident of Community Center,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Some toys are so complex that only a child has the skills needed to assemble them, skills that atropy with the onset of adolescence.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 8:57 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Ex Child - Thanks for commenting. Yes, assembling toys with a young child is a unique experience.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

As a kid, I enjoyed a lot of gifts that were *INTENDED* to be assembled by the child: wood blocks, Legos, erector sets, electronic kits, chemistry sets, plastic models, train sets, etc. I also enjoyed a wide variety of art supplies; crayons and colored construction paper gave way to colored pens/pencils, paints and brushes, etc.

As I got older, some of these activities spilled into household tasks like assembling the new BBQ grill, cooking/baking, etc.

Today's kids also enjoy things like building their own gaming PCs, programming Arduino robots, writing software, etc.

Based on my own experience and those of friends, a kid who enjoys these types of activities will quickly move beyond the point of constant adult supervision.

Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I think the parent/child assembly idea is a good one to start while young. Not only for toys, but anything a child will have to use. I can remember a lot of help when our eldest's first "big bed" arrived and the help we had with all the bits and pieces and the excitement of the first try out as the mattress was placed on the bed and then once again as the sheets and pillows were placed on top. The fact that the child has pictures of the before, during and after as well as first night time experience in pjs with the lamp turned on shows the pride in the accomplishment. Some of the toys will be forgotten in a few years, but this bed will hopefully be around for a long time and even though the pattern on the sheets will change, the bed itself as the "bed I made myself" is priceless.

The skills in assembling toys, furniture, anything in the house, are a little like helping to cook simple meals, are the skills that can be used forever. Starting young is a great idea.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Reader - Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, our son also likes many toys that are intended to be assembled by a child. At this age, train tracks are a big hit - at first it's fun to assemble them as shown on the box, but then it's even more fun to create your own tracks.

Mother of 4 - Yes, definitely a skill that he can use over and over again. What a great idea to take photos of them assembling the bed, before, during and after it's complete.

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